Popping the COVID Bubble
Looking to grow their business during the COVID pandemic, Ka-Pop! Snacks turned to Insignia Systems for a new digital playbook and delivered their biggest month of in-store sales, ever.
It’s hard to imagine a business whose operations and growth track haven’t been affected by COVID-19. The impacts of the virus vary, largely depending on your company’s size. The bigger you are, the broader the foundation you have for weathering such challenges and riding them out.
But what about emerging brands just starting to gain traction with consumers? COVID-19 couldn’t have shown up at a worse time for these smaller, aspiring enterprises. With so much disruption in the retail environment, many tactics from the traditional marketing playbook have been paused or permanently altered. Emerging companies find themselves asking, How do we survive this? How can we leverage our current market position and stay nimble enough to pivot to a new, successful strategy? And who can we turn to for help?
A Company in the Crunch
Ka-Pop! Snacks was asking all of these questions. The brainchild of Dustin and Christina Finkel, the Colorado-based company produces chips and puffs made from ancient grains—that is, grains that have not been crossbred, genetically modified or hybridized—as a healthy, tasty snack alternative. All ingredients, including sorghum, sunflower oil, olive oil and seasonings are sourced within the U.S.
A colorful appearance by Dustin on ABC’s Shark Tank in January helped drive brand awareness, and Ka-Pop!’s e-commerce presence on Amazon.com and their own page was driving great growth. Then COVID hit. Ka-Pop! needed a marketing breakthrough for reaching consumers in both traditional retail and the increasingly competitive digital space.
Enter the Insignia Pitch Slam
When the Finkels heard about our Pitch Slam competition, they suspected they had found an answer. Insignia is a leading marketing services provider that works with CPG brands. In the spirit of Shark Tank, the competition invited emerging brands to make their case for why they should win the grand prize: $100,000 in free mobile advertising and a guest spot on one of Insignia’s sponsored Omni Talk Spotlight Series podcasts.
Ka-Pop! was selected as one of five innovative finalists to present live in March at Natural Products Expo West®, an annual trade show in Anaheim, CA. When Expo West was cancelled at the last minute due to COVID concerns, Insignia staged the final competition as a virtual event. Ka-Pop! emerged as the winner.
The Finkels wasted no time redeeming their grand prize. Ka-Pop! and Insignia were soon working together on a plan comprised of several different campaigns and strategies, all designed to position Ka-Pop! for continued growth despite COVID.
“We were ecstatic having won Insignia’s Pitch Slam,” said Christina Finkel, who serves as Ka-Pop!’s chief marketing officer. “The mobile media prize was incredible in and of itself, but the approach Insignia took with us is what sets them apart. They worked to understand our business goals, and jointly, we defined several campaigns to address each.”
The first six weeks of programming with Insignia focused on refining copy and audience segmentation via social media, using a foundation of existing Ka-Pop! audiences and expanding upon them. This enabled a hyper-localized mobile campaign that delivered relevant in-app mobile ads to brand-prioritized audience groups within geographic reach of stores with Ka-Pop! distribution. The ads helped build awareness and influenced shoppers to become buyers by featuring a limited-time price promotion.
“We had expected one mobile campaign filled with line-itemed costs and non-working dollars,” Finkel said. “What we experienced was very different. We found a marketing partner who was on our side, looking out for our best interests and helping us spend our investment wisely, not just easily.
The result of Insignia’s multi-layered approach of combining mobile marketing and price promotion was a 236 percent increase in unit velocity in one critical retailer. The bottom line: Ka-Pop! posted its best month of in-store sales, ever.
“Insignia stretched the investment to serve all our business objectives, which was beyond our expectations,” Finkel said. “Their detailed approach allowed our business to accelerate despite COVID retail headwinds.”
The team at Insignia found the engagement just as gratifying. “We’re thrilled with the results we helped Ka-Pop! achieve. It is exciting to know were able to share this amazing brand with so many new consumers,” said Stacy Vossberg, Insignia’s VP of Digital.
A New Partnership
Insignia and Ka-Pop!’s association is unique in that it originated through the Pitch Slam. But their working relationship is a textbook example of the way Insignia likes to operate and serve its clients. Because the collaboration was so successful, Vossberg indicated there is more work to come.
“This is only the beginning, she said. “Stay tuned for the next chapter, as we support Ka-Pop!’s new product launch by driving awareness and traffic to their website to deliver direct-to-consumer eComm sales.”
About Insignia Systems, Inc.
Insignia Systems, Inc. sells product solutions ranging from in-store to digital advertising. Consumer-packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers across the country rely on our deep expertise in the dynamic retail environment to provide a full suite of shopper engagement solutions.
For additional information, contact (800) 874-4648, or visit the Insignia website at www.insigniasystems.com.